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Thursday Kickoff: PSG call off pursuit of Di Maria; Vermaelen could leave Arsenal; and more

AngelDiMariaRealMadrid1-Levante2014 (Getty)


Paris Saint-Germain are having to live with the new reality that is Financial Fair Play.

After accepting a reduced punishment from UEFA this summer for breaching FFP protocols, the French club has had to call off their pursuit of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria due to the Argentine’s excessive transfer fee.

“I have been in negotiations for Di María with my friend Florentino Pérez, but for me the player is too expensive and we have stopped negotiations,” PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi said at David Luiz’s introductory press conference on Thursday.

The admission is the first time that PSG have publicly stated their interest in the Argentine international, who starred for Argentina at the World Cup but missed the final and semifinals due to a thigh injury.

Recent reports in Spain have claimed that PSG would need to pay a fee of 60 million euros ($80.2 million) to sign Di Maria, and after spending 50 million euros on Luiz, PSG need to bring in some revenue in order to afford Di Maria.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Thursday:


Arsenal could have a new club captain this season.

Current captain, defender Thomas Vermaelen, is not content with a place on the bench for another season and is the subject of transfer speculation from across Europe. On Thursday at a press conference, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted that the club has received bids for the Belgian international.

“Manchester United are part of the group (of bidders). He could leave,” Wenger told reporters. “We have offers from abroad and ideally I would rather sell him to a club abroad. We’re in a position where it’s difficult to stand in his way.”

According to the Daily Telegraph, Man United are the favorites to sign Vermaelen but Barcelona have entered with a £10 million bid. Arsenal signed Southampton’s Calum Chambers this summer, giving them another centerback option behind starters Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny.


Nacional substitute Julio Santa Cruz played the hero for his club in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final.

Santa Cruz scored from close range in the third minute of second-half stoppage time to tie the match at 1-1, sending the Nacional fans at the Estadio Defensores del Chaco into rapture. The goal canceled out San Lorenzo’s opener in the 65th minute, when Mauro Matos fired home on the volley inside the box.

The second leg of the final now moves to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as both teams aim for South American glory.


Karim Benzema has signed a new contract at Real Madrid through 2019. (REPORT)

PSV Eindhoven have stated that exciting young forward Memphis Depay is not for sale. (REPORT)

Celtic have been knocked out of the UEFA Champions League with a 2-0, 6-1 aggregate defeat to Legia Warsaw. (REPORT)

German World Cup defender Shkodran Mustafi has completed a transfer move from Sampdoria to Valencia. (REPORT)

Ghanian international Andre Ayew dreams of playing for Liverpool but his salary of 300,000 euros per month is higher than what Liverpool would like to play for the Marseille midfielder. (REPORT)

Brazil has scheduled a friendly match in Singapore against Japan on Oct. 14. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Surprised to see PSG pull out of the Di Maria sweepstakes? Do you see Vermaelen moving to Man United?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. i was so happy to see Madrid sign Benz to that long-term contract and then to wake up today and see that PSG officially rule themselves out of the Di Maria transfer makes me even happier. granted, i’m sure the money will be sorely missed given they were banking on that money to help offset James’ transfer. this also tells me no one was really that interested in Cavani because they were trying to sell him to allow for Di Maria.

    i guess Man United and Juve could circle back around and bid below €60m since PSG is out of the race and wouldn’t drive the price up.

    • Madrid need to sell someone.

      they have Kroos, Modric, Alonso, the big German guy whose name i forget

      for central midfield and their attack is

      Ronaldo, Benzema, Di Maria, Rodriguez, Bale

      whose gonna ride that bench? This is truly the Galacticos. Imagine if OZIL was still there.

      • it’s insane for sure. Khedira is who you are thinking of. not to mention Illara, Isco, and Casemiro. i’d add Jese to the list of attackers. he’ll be back from his ACL and the kid needs to play because he’s going to be sick.

        and to think we are still rumored to sign Falcao. there is no need!

    • they were talking about this on taslkSport this morning. apparently the squad they put out there were a bunch of no names. still ridiculous but they were saying they can basically guarantee they’ll win the SPL again this year anyway so who cares? it was an interesting debate but still pathetic.

      • They never should have relegated Rangers. Oh Rangers deserved it but that doesn’t mean it was smart.

        Scotland has a chance in the new expanded 24 team Euros but that’s the only reason why.

    • we knew this for years. It’s been confirmed for 5 years but for now SCOTLAND is horrid for sure. Best to go to a 2nd division if the only choice is Celtic. 6 Champion League games (not even guaranteed you get to play-off round) is real sad.

      scotland will never be in another world cup or euro

  2. there is no way that Ghanian player makes 4.8 million euros a year at Marseille? Is that really possible that he’s 1 of the highest paid players in Ligue 1 despite not being at PSG/Monaco/Lyon?

    when was the last time Vermaleen was actually a good defender? 2011? 2012? why such a rush of big clubs to sign him?

    MADRID honestly wanna keep Benzema. He’s a very good striker but top 10 world striker he is not then again they don’t wanna show up Ronaldo by signing a Suarez or Ibra, so i guess makes sense

    • you mean 3.6 million euros a year …that actually is not too high for France outside the 3 big spenders. The issue would be if it wear over 10 million. I think it is just what Liverpool value him at compared for what else they could get at outside back. Keep in mind, he is very young and raw, but he has potential. If he was more polished, then maybe.

  3. Playing Singapore for the money in Japan is not going to help Brazil. If they want to move on from their poor performance at home, they need to schedule quality opponents.

    • a 4th place finish at the world cup is hardly a poor performance – they were beaten by the 2 best teams in the tournament.

      • they played less than spectacularly in the tournament but were doing OK

        until they embarassed themselves

        a 7-1 semi-final loss

        and a 3-0 final match to finish 4th in BRAZIL at a time of great social upheaval is a huge blow for them

    • This – if you want to look for what is wrong with Brazil this is it. The national team is now a money spinner first. Making your players fly half way around the world to play competition that is worse than what you could get at home or in Europe.


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